And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26 – 27 New Living Translation (NLT)
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The day is finally upon us. I can’t wait for it to be over already. First of all, Fifunmi and Enkay arrived late. Abigail was so upset. Fifunmi exploded while Enkay walked right out back. I was transfixed for the greater part of the five minutes that elapsed after the yelling match before I could spring into action. I ran after Enkay as soon as I came back to my senses but I just couldn’t find her. We are lodged at a hotel close to the Church where the wedding will take place. After a fifteen minutes search of the area, I return to find out that Fifunmi too also left. I let out an exasperated sigh. Eloho is trying to comfort Abigail. I join her.
‘It is my wedding! I only get to do this once. They are my closest friends. It is high priority.’ Eloho hands her more tissue to blow her nose. I can feel the irritation coming off in waves from the Makeup artist. We are talking about foundation and primers running in tens of thousands of Naira. Even the eyelashes on Abigail are hanging precariously from her eyelids. I hide my smile behind my palm. I pull her into a tight hug.
‘They will come around. You can’t keep Dotun waiting.’
She won’t let go of me. ‘Where are you going?’
‘To find them.’
‘You just said you didn’t find Enkay. And we don’t even know where Fifunmi is. This is past eight. We need to be in the church by ten.’
‘I will just look around once more.’
‘You have to be here, Mario. You have to be.’ She starts crying again. ‘How could they do this to me? Fifunmi missed the bridal shower and they barely stayed all through the Bridesmaids bonding. Is it bad to expect my friends to honour me? Is it?’ I hand her more tissue. ‘You have to be here Mario.’
I nod my head. ‘I will be back before you blink’. I turn to leave. She calls out. ‘Wait. Mario. Let me call Phillip.’
‘Who is Phillip?’
‘Dotun’s step brother. He knows the area very well.’ She rolls her eyes. ‘I introduced you to him when we were talking to the event planner. He used to work for them.’ I let out a small ‘oh.’ She shakes her head. ‘You don’t remember. Hello. Phillip. I need your help please. My bridesmaids are missing. Yeah. But one of them is trying to organize a search. Mario. You remember her? Fantastic. Come to the front of the hotel. She will be waiting for you. Call me when you get here.’
She looks at Eloho. ‘What if they refuse to come?’ She begins to cry again. I don’t want to think about it. The truth is Fifunmi and Enkay have been very scarce during the whole wedding preparation. But they will definitely have genuine reasons. Abigail’s phone begins to ring. It’s Phillip. I have thirty minutes to find two angry people who do not want to be found.
I meet Phillip outside. We exchange greetings. He begins to fire questions.
‘Did they drive here? Where are they parked? Have you asked the security men whether they saw any angry person leaving?’ I blink three times. I actually didn’t. I assumed they just walked out of the hotel. Good Lord. ‘Have you called?’ I nod my head. ‘They are not picking.’ He rubs his jaw. ‘That is expected. You know their car or cars?’ I nod my head again. ‘Wait here. Let me find out from the security men if they saw any young woman or women storming out of the gate.’ He moves away and wheels abruptly back. ‘On a second thought, let us make this faster. Would you just check the bar of the hotel? And just scan around the reception in case we missed them? I will come meet you at the reception.’ I nod again. I am just amazed at how asking the right questions is much smarter than making assumptions. I start at the reception before moving to the bar, they are not there. I make my way back to the reception. He is smiling at me. ‘Good news. They didn’t see anybody leave.’ ‘Doesn’t mean anybody didn’t leave.’ I mumble under my breath. He looks in my direction, ‘I am sorry I didn’t get you.’ I say it is nothing. I traipsed around this area for nothing. Why hadn’t I thought about this? ‘You are a detective?’ He laughs. ‘No. I am a fitness trainer.’ I let my eyes roam over his torso. He cocks his head to the side. ‘Verdict?’ I turn towards the exit to go to the parking lot. True to his words, Enkay’s car is there. ‘Enkay’s car is here.’ He raises an eyebrow. ‘I don’t know what you want me to say, bro.’ I move towards the car. And you wouldn’t believe it. The two of them are in the car talking shop. I think I must have had steam coming out of my ears because Phillip holds me at the elbow. ‘Let me be the one to talk to them’. I remove my elbow from his grip. ‘Mario, please.’ I want to say no. ‘okay.’ He smiles again. ‘Thank you.’ He moves back to let me pass. ‘Ladies first.’
I can’t feel my feet. And my eyelids may lose this battle against sleep any moment from now. The wedding is over. It finally is. I never thought this day will finally come but it has and it is over. And like I suspected, Fifunmi and Enkay’s outburst had to do with the whole wedding. Apparently, the plan had been that Fifunmi and Enkay will pick the colour and the materials, but Abigail decided to use Eloho’s colour and her family had picked the material. So Enkay and Fifunmi were not too happy. They felt that their input were not necessary since Abigail kept ignoring them. I think it was a bit stupid. Abigail clearly reached a compromise. The reception venue and event planner were their choices. She tried to consider everyone in her decisions. And they grudgingly accepted that explanation. They followed Philip and I back up and it was like they never even left. I was angry at them but I forgave them later on. So they nearly ruined a very important event and long years of friendship because of something so stupid.
At a point at the reception, I snuck off to have Baileys. I just couldn’t deal. Yes, there was a small bottle among the drinks. Abigail, the sneaky rat. Phillip found me. He said he had been told to follow the Baileys. I was savouring my heavenly sips of Baileys when he appeared out of nowhere. He is really not bad to look at. And he is smart and well-mannered. So he came to talk to me. We talked. Really talked. He is very interesting too. Did I mention that? Bottom line, he liked my personality. He found me very smart and caring and mature. He was wondering if I could accompany him to one art gallery opening or something of the sort. One of his clients has an art gallery and invited him. He was thinking I will be great company. I was thinking Eloho would be a greater company. Abigail paired me with the wrong groomsman. I know nothing about art. But I like his style, He is going to ask me on another, then another, then another. He will introduce me to his friends. He will call and check up on me. Then on the fourth or fifth outing, he will officially ask me out.
But I find that I am not satisfied. And this is me confiding in you. Women would say that they want to be more than their face or bodies. Okay. But I find that to Phillip, I want to be more than smart and knowledgeable and mature. I want him to tell me that I am very beautiful and a sight for sore eyes. And this is regardless of the fact that I will say no when he asks me out. Phillip is 26. Then, add this very significant problem, I –